What Opportunities Should You Take?
- Feb 2, 2018
As a pre-professional student, you may feel overwhelmed with what you should be doing to make yourself a good applicant for whatever professional school you plan on attending. There is no exact formula to follow, so what opportunities should you pursue and what should you not? Below are some tips to help you decide what to choose.
- Is it a requirement for the school you are attending?
It is easy to find this out requirement by visiting the school’s website that you are interested in. Depending on the program, they may have different requirements. For example, many Physician Assistant schools require at least 500 hours of patient care experience. Many occupational therapy schools require experience shadowing or volunteering with an occupational therapist. Pretty much any school likes to see volunteering and giving back to your community.
- Can you commit to it?
While it may be tempting to fill up your resume or attempt to fill all 16 activities slots in the AMCAS application, jumping around from many different obligations in short periods of time might send the wrong message. Schools want to see that you can commit to things for the long term, especially because most of the professional school programs take multiple years. Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t decide to stop doing something, or you can’t take opportunities that have a definitive end date. It just means to be mindful with making sure you show the schools you are applying to that you are able to make a long-term commitment.
- Is it meaningful to you?
What is the point of doing something if you aren’t really getting anything out of it? Everything you put down is fair game to be asked about at an interview, and you want to be able to answer earnestly. What did volunteering in the emergency room teach you? How did the mission trip abroad to build houses impact you? If you can’t answer honestly and without many clichés, it probably isn’t something that will be worth your time. And as pre-professional students, we all know how valuable our time is.
- How many responsibilities do you already have?
It is important to ensure that you are able to give your best to everything you have to do- volunteering, a job, school, and anything else you may have. Therefore, before you search for something else to add to your application, make sure it will not overwhelm you. Your well-being is more important than your resume.